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A Guide to Coron: Palawan, Philippines

Coron is a little town on the southern part of Busuanga Island in the Palawan Province of the Philippines. Located 30 minutes away from the Busuanga Airport and nestled right into the coast, it’s surrounded by dozens of beautiful islands and lagoons and is a popular place to go diving and snorkeling in the Philippines.

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I stayed in Coron for 5 days, which gave me plenty of time to see some of the highlights in Coron and learn more about the town.

I love bustling little cities with lots of shops and cafes and restaurants. There are so many things to do in Coron that are in walking distance, but there is also so much to explore all around the island. People are friendly, food and beer is cheap, and the weather is perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to start my trip in the Philippines.

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How To Get To Coron

You can fly or take a ferry to Coron, depending on what city you’re coming from and how much you want to spend. I flew from Manila into the Busuanga Airport, a small little airport on the north part of the island. From there you can take a shuttle van to Coron Town for 150 pesos. Many people coming from El Nido opt to take the ferry.

Once you’re in town it’s very easy and cheap to find tuktuks or jeepneys to drive you around places, and it’s also very convenient to walk most places.

Time Recommended: 3-4 days if you’re not doing a diving course.

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The Best Things To Do In Coron:

1. Mt. Tapyas

I loved this little mountain so much I hiked it twice. It’s not really a hike so much as a bunch of stairs (about 700) and takes 15-20 minutes to walk up. The view at the top is amazing – a fantastic 360 of the whole island. You can explore the trail at the top or hang out in the gazebo and take in the views.

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2. Take A Boat Tour

There are many boat tour options to choose from in Coron. Most include hotel pick up and drop off and also lunch during the day.

The Ultimate Tour is one of the most popular tours and the one I decided to go on. For around 1400pps it’s a good deal and includes stops the Twin Lagoon, Kayangan Lake, Skeleton Wreck, CYC Beach, Siete Pecados, and Coral Garden.

Many people recommended taking a private boat because the tours will go to similar places and the places will be crowded, but I actually enjoyed the tour I went on and think the boats change the order of where they go so they don’t all arrive at once.

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3. Kayangan Lake

My favorite place by far! Even though there were other people and boats there, the view was stunning, and swimming in the lake here was the best. If you go on a boat tour, make sure you choose one that goes here!

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4. Diving and Snorkeling

There are lots of beautiful reefs, colorful marine life, and interesting shipwrecks around Coron that make it a fantastic place to snorkel and dive. I didn’t dive, but many people I met here were doing their diving courses here or wanted a cool place to go, and highly recommended it.

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5. Visit the Nearby Island Beaches

Coron itself doesn’t have a beach, but when you take a boat tour they’ll take you to a few. We had a little beach all to ourselves for an afternoon and went kayaking there.

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6. Watch The Sunset

Some of my friends brought their own fishing gear and wanted to take a boat out for an evening ride, so they rented a boat and I tagged along. It’s a little more expensive than a public boat, but it was fun to have the boat to ourselves and since most boat tours return in the afternoon, we actually got to see sunset out on the water.

Sunset is especially nice on the water, but anywhere you go in Coron will give you a great sunset view! I’ve heard Mt. Tapyas is also amazing during sunset but didn’t have the chance to go.

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Other Things To Do In Coron:

  • Maquinit Hot Spring
  • Visit the Port Market for local treats
  • Try the local cafes and bars
  • Explore the Water Homes

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Or find a resort with a great pool (like this one!)

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Tips for Visiting Coron

  • Bring an underwater camera! I wish I had brought one. You’ll get some great shots while snorkling and diving
  • There’s an ATM machine in Coron, but there was always a line when I went. Just to be safe bring lots of cash with you
  • If you’re planning to go to El Nido after Coron and haven’t booked your ferry out, check the ferry tickets right away

When I arrived in Coron one of the ferry companies wasn’t working, which delayed many people’s traveling plans. Lots of people were stuck in Coron longer than expected and had to cancel reservations in El Nido because they couldn’t get a ticket for the day they wanted. I ended up booking a flight with Air Swift to El Nido because I didn’t want to wait to long or pay a lot for a private boat.

 

Catching Up With Friends Coron

I actually didn’t plan on going to Coron with anyone. I was going to meet some friends in El Nido later in the week and planned to do Coron solo, but it turned out so many of my friends were also in Coron at the same time.

Like my friend Deeping who was a student at Nanhua University, the first school I taught at in China. We met in 2015 and haven’t seen each other in more than a year – luckily our time in Coron overlapped by a day.

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I also met up with Amy, Michael, and Kristen – teachers I worked with when I lived in Guangzhou for a year.

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And this is Lili – a Chinese friend from Shenzhen who I met in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2017 during the Chinese New Year holiday. He saw my photos in Coron and messaged me telling me he was also in Coron. It’s crazy how you can meet someone and be in the same place by chance two years later!

Also he speaks very little English so I spoke only (broken) Chinese…always fun to try hahaha.

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And I also met Cynthia – she lives in Hangzhou, China and we’ve been Instagram friends for more than a year but never had the chance to meet until now!

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I love how traveling gives you the chance to catch up with old friends and also connect you with many new people! I met so many friendly and interesting people in the hostels I stayed at and had a great time going out with some of them.

Visiting Coron

Coron was the perfect start to my trip in the Philippines. You don’t need a lot of time here – just a few days is enough to see everything. If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, you should definitely add Coron to your list!

Have you been to the Philippines? I’d love to go back again and see more than Palawan! 

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18 comments

  1. Ahh I love this!! I haven’t been home in so many years (although my home was in Manila LOL) and visited Palawan in foreverrrr!! I’ve never gone snorkeling or diving but I think it would be great to try (although I have a small fear of snorkeling because I think some great big monster will pop up and eat only me haha). It was great you got to meet up with old friends and meet new ones too!! ❤ Thanks for sharing Rachel!

    Geraldine | https://geraldinetalks.com

    Liked by 1 person

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